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6 Tips to Boost your Immune System and Knock the Flu

Carolina Sanchez

photo credit: unitypoint.org

It's that dreaded time of the year again, and it seems like everyone around you is getting the flu. But what if you could prevent it and keep yourself healthy?

Since adopting a plant-based vegan diet three years ago, I have hardly ever gotten sick. Before, it was almost a given that I would get sick at least once a year, but not anymore. I am in control of my health. The abundance of fruits and vegetables I eat has made my immune system so strong, and ready to battle any cold! So, here are my 6 tips to boost your immune system and keep yourself flu-proof!

1. Drink Lots of Water

If you start feeling a scratchiness in your throat come on, start drinking water like nobody's business. I mean, drink and drink, even if you feel like you are drinking too much, keep drinking. Squeeze some fresh lemon and/or lime juice in your water for an extra immunity boost. And if you want to jazz it up, throw some fresh or frozen raspberries in there for an extra antioxidant boost. It's delicious, refreshing, and ultra-hydrating! 

2. Eat Lots of Fruits and Vegetables

It's amazing what an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies can do for the immune system! 

  • Eat plenty of big salads, steamed veggies, and lots of whole fruits. Fruits and veggies are full of bioavailable nutrients that your body can use to boost your immune system. They are also much easier for your body to digest so your body won't spend excessive amounts of energy on digestion.
  • Avoid animal foods which produce inflammation in the body, are hard to digest, and do not contain any vitamins or minerals. 
  • Avoid sugar or any kind of sweeteners which weaken the immune system. 
  • Avoid alcohol. This will dehydrate you and make it harder for your body to get up and fight back.
  • Avoid salt, which also dehydrates the body. 

3. Get Plenty of Rest

Your immune system could be down if you haven't been getting enough sleep. Your body might be tired and needs some extra zzz's to fight off that cold. Go to bed early and if you have the luxury of taking a nap during the day, do it. 

4. Keep your Hands Away from your Face

I mean it, don't touch your face. If your nose is itchy, grab a tissue. Touching your face is one of the easiest ways to spread germs, and if your immune system is already weak and you're trying to fend it off, you want to help your body out as much as possible by not introducing more germs.

5. Wash Your Hands Often

Make sure to wash your hands often. Use soap, warm water, and scrub the top of your hands, underneath your fingernails, and in between your fingers.

6. Stay Cool as a Cucumber

Stress is toxic and a lot of times our immune systems can become weakened from too much stress. Take a deep breath, try meditation or yoga, and of course, eating a plant-based diet helps control stress levels. Fruits and veggies are good for the body and the mind too.